What images come to Scout's mind as she hears the verdict read aloud in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Just before the jury returns to deliver its verdict, Scout flashes back to the cold February day when Atticus stood alone in the street, facing off with a mad dog. The steamy courtroom now felt as it did then:

... the atmosphere in the courtroom was exactly the same as a cold February morning, when the mockingbirds were still...

Scout remembered that work had stopped on Miss Maudie's new house, and to her, the empty street contrasted little with the packed courtroom. Sheriff Tate, who had handed the rifle to Atticus to kill the mad dog, was in the courtroom as well; and Scout

... expected Mr. Tate to say any minute, "Take him, Mr. Finch."

But instead, Tate called the court to order and returned with Tom Robinson. In a "dreamlike quality," the jurors moved as if they were "underwater swimmers"; Judge Taylor's voice sounded as if it "came from far away." Scout saw her father

... raise a rifle to his shoulder and pull the trigger, but watching all the time knowing that the gun was empty.

Scout knew that Atticus would not win this round: She saw the jurors from a lawyer's child's perspective, and she knew that

     A jury never looks at a defendant it has convicted, and when the jury came in, not one of them looked at Tom Robinson.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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